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Medion
12-12-05, 01:57 PM
This is constantly being updated. Please feel free to post any input on recommended parts. Prices use Newegg as a reference for the time being. In the case that Newegg doesn't offer an item, anothrr reliable place is used to price the product. Also, I do not include Mail-In Rebates as part of the price. I prefer to list my out of pocket expenses, and not something that may or may not materialize later.

His - Budget $1700:
-CPU: Athlon 64 X2 3800+ - $325.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103562)
-Motherboard: Biostar NF4UL-A9- $78.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813138249)
-RAM: Corsair ValueSelect 2x1GB PC3200 - $181.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145579)
-Video Card: XFX GeForce 7800GT - $309.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150124)
-Sound Card: OnBoard nForce4 Audio - $0.00
-Hard-Drive: Samsung Spinpoint 160GB - $81.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822152020)
-Case: Aspire X-Cruise Green - $69.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811196002)
-PSU: Antec Truepower II 430W - $69.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103928)
-Monitor: Samsung 940b 19" - $339.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824001070)
-Optical Drive 1: BenQ Combo Drive - $25.50 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827101665)
-OS: Windows XP Home - $92.95 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102059)
-Speakers: Logitech X-230 - $33.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836121123)
-Keyboard: Logitech Media Keyboard Elite - $19.98 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16823126178)
-Mouse: Logitech MX518 Gaming Mouse - $35.89 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16826104178)
Total Cost: $1,665.78

Hers - Budget $1400:
-CPU: Athlon 64 X2 3800+ - $325.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16819103562)
-Motherboard: Biostar NF4UL-A9 - $78.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813138249)
-RAM: Corsair ValueSelect 2x512MB PC3200 - $73.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145440)
-Video Card: XFX GeForce 6800GS - $205.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814150118)
-Sound Card: OnBoard nForce4 Audio - $0.00
-Hard-Drive: Samsung Spinpoint 160GB - $81.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822152020)
-Case: Antec Solution SLK3000-B - $49.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811129152)
-PSU: Antec Smartpower 400W - $54.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103935)
-Monitor: Samsung 740B 17" - $255.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824001070)
-Optical Drive 1: NEC DVD Burner 3550A- $39.75 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827152058)
-Card Reader: Linkskey Internal US 2.0 Card Reader - $12.99 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820300902)
-OS: Windows XP Home - $92.95 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16837102059)
-Speakers: DCT Factory OG-691 - $3.75 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16836131004)
-Keyboard: Logitech Media Keyboard Elite - $19.98 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16823126178)
-Mouse: Rosewill RM800U - $4.49 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16826193002)
Total Cost: $1,295.89

Grand Total Cost: $2,961.67

TierMann
12-12-05, 02:16 PM
IMO, for your system you should go with a Samsung 997 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824001068) CRT. I have the 997DF version and it runs nice at 1280x1024@85. As you can see though it will kick up even higher res than that. That will save you about 75 bucks so you can get the G15 or bump up to the X-Fi Platinum :). The Samsung LCD's are nice but not even close to what you'll get from the 997. 16.2million colors which means the rest of the 16.7mil are dithered/banded, worse dot-pitch, etc. Just an idea if you're going to be gaming and watching video, or even photo editing.

MarkFahey
12-12-05, 02:41 PM
The build spec's look excellent Jay! I have always built my systems with two hard drives and used my D: drive mainly for image backup of my C: drive with Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image. This really gives you alot of piece of mind as well as saving you massive amounts of time if you have a system crash. It also nice to have some extra storage as well.

Another thing that is highly recommeded is that you put your Windows XP Swap File on a drive other then the one you have you OS on. This really gives you a nice boost in performance even with alot of ram, XP still uses the swap file quite often. The procedure is as follows: Create a small swap file on the drive that contains your OS (more than likely your C: drive). The size should be 5 -50 Initial and Maximum size. On your D: drive the settings for both Initial and Maximum size should be exactly the same, and three times your ram size.

XP will really scream at you if you have no swap file at all on you OS drive so that's why you need the small one. XP will autosense which drive has the larger swap and use that one.

Medion
12-12-05, 03:04 PM
Thank you for your feedback guys. Before I turn in for the night, I figured I'd commend on what you guys have suggested so far.

IMO, for your system you should go with a Samsung 997 CRT. I have the 997DF version and it runs nice at 1280x1024@85. As you can see though it will kick up even higher res than that. That will save you about 75 bucks so you can get the G15 or bump up to the X-Fi Platinum . The Samsung LCD's are nice but not even close to what you'll get from the 997. 16.2million colors which means the rest of the 16.7mil are dithered/banded, worse dot-pitch, etc. Just an idea if you're going to be gaming and watching video, or even photo editing.

I've sworn off CRTs for PC gaming. Three years ago I got a Gateway LCD (17", 330:1 contrast, 25ms response, analog). I know the elitest gamer may scoff at that, but I've never noticed ghosting on it. I've seen ghosting before on lesser LCDs. Comparing my LCD to my wife's dell flat-CRT, I can't notice much of a difference. Since my eyes aren't very acute, I can live with a LCD :)

The build spec's look excellent Jay!

Thanks!

I have always built my systems with two hard drives and used my D: drive mainly for image backup of my C: drive with Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image. This really gives you alot of piece of mind as well as saving you massive amounts of time if you have a system crash. It also nice to have some extra storage as well.


Agreed. We have a "sharedrive" that we use. It's a 300GB internal, isndie an external enclosure. We use that to store all of our shared media (personal CD/DVD rips, pictures, backups, etc.).

Another thing that is highly recommeded is that you put your Windows XP Swap File on a drive other then the one you have you OS on. This really gives you a nice boost in performance even with alot of ram, XP still uses the swap file quite often. The procedure is as follows: Create a small swap file on the drive that contains your OS (more than likely your C: drive). The size should be 5 -50 Initial and Maximum size. On your D: drive the settings for both Initial and Maximum size should be exactly the same, and three times your ram size.

XP will really scream at you if you have no swap file at all on you OS drive so that's why you need the small one. XP will autosense which drive has the larger swap and use that one.

If I ever add a 2nd HDD to either system, I'll definitely do this! Excellent suggestion :)

BrianG
12-12-05, 03:31 PM
You may want to consider getting a stronger PSU than 430W and with dual PCI-E leads for your PC. It would make the jump to 7800GT SLI plug and play.

hmazuji
12-12-05, 03:53 PM
-Case: Undecided - $0.00

i got an antec p150. it houses an atx board. cost about $170 shipped. this is the awesomest case ever for atx form factor. it is beautifully engineered and includes an excellent 430w power supply. you can't go wrong with antec, and this is a case in point.

hmazuji
12-12-05, 04:11 PM
-OS: Windows XP Home - $94.95

why infect a brand new pc with this virus ?

try suse 10.0
you can download an iso image (or dvd) and burn your installation cd's from
http://www.opensuse.org/Mirrors_Released_Version#USA

the only problem with linux is getting it to recognize bios raid. i would have paid the extra money for the onboard raid controller, but for some reason m.b. manufacturers think i would rather waste two weeks of my life trying to get software raid to work so that i could save a hundred bucks.

suse is great. it comes with an excellent office suite. you'll see.

Saibot
12-12-05, 08:08 PM
I'm dual booting Suse 10 on my main rig and the last time I checked there were no drivers for the X-Fi sound cards. Wasn't a problem when I was using onboard audio, and I'll admit that I'm a noob when it comes to Linux so there may be another way. I don't boot into Linux a whole lot, but when I do it's nothing but silence for me now :(

rflair
12-12-05, 08:52 PM
Two nice systems, I would only opt for one optical drive in each box, a DVD writer/reader (they can read write anything) and put the extra cash into a larger hard drive or slightly better PSU's.

ViN86
12-12-05, 09:23 PM
oh, if those are Athlon X2 3800+'s youll need Win XP Pro. otherwise, lookin good. and dont take the linux advice. tbh, if you dont know much about linux, its a pain to get started. (at least it was for me, granted i used one of the hardest distro's, lol)

a12ctic
12-12-05, 09:25 PM
oh, if those are Athlon X2 3800+'s youll need Win XP Pro. otherwise, lookin good. and dont take the linux advice. tbh, if you dont know much about linux, its a pain to get started. (at least it was for me, granted i used one of the hardest distro's, lol)
What distro, they just seem to becoming more and more user friendly by the week, i started using debian in 2000 and i gave up but now there so easy....

ViN86
12-12-05, 09:36 PM
i used slackware on my nforce2 board. dont get me wrong, as soon as i got it workin, i absolutely loved it. just being a linux nub and startin out is kind of difficult.

oh and i just noticed that they are X2's, so you WILL need XP Pro. xp home edition doesnt support multiple processors.

nV`andrew
12-12-05, 09:46 PM
You'll be needing XP Pro with that. Sucks, for me and you, because im getting the X2 3800+ and ill need to get a copy of windows xp pro which costs like $50 more :( oh well not too bad of a price. The Antec P-160WF is very nice, probably better than the heavy 180. Really a preference i guess. I will be getting the 7800GT as well. I recommend the eVGA version because it has proven that it clock higher and outperform the XFX and if you want, pay about $70 more and you get the 7800GT plus a free eVGA SLi mobo that has actually also proven itself to perform well and overclock.

Antec P160WF:
Side Window/ATX/2x120mm Fans, one with blue LED/1.2mm Anodized Aluminum/ Mid Tower

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811129144

a12ctic
12-12-05, 10:05 PM
i used slackware on my nforce2 board. dont get me wrong, as soon as i got it workin, i absolutely loved it. just being a linux nub and startin out is kind of difficult.

oh and i just noticed that they are X2's, so you WILL need XP Pro. xp home edition doesnt support multiple processors.
oh slackware, ive never been a fan of slackware, lame package managing debian is just as stable and it has a much beter package manager, my favorite distro right now is ubuntu (no joke)

Medion
12-12-05, 11:25 PM
You may want to consider getting a stronger PSU than 430W and with dual PCI-E leads for your PC. It would make the jump to 7800GT SLI plug and play.

Definitely. There are a few things I'm considering as an upgrade, but it depends on how price drops over the next two months affect my budget.

got an antec p150. it houses an atx board. cost about $170 shipped. this is the awesomest case ever for atx form factor. it is beautifully engineered and includes an excellent 430w power supply. you can't go wrong with antec, and this is a case in point.

We'll look into the case, keyboard, mouse, and speakers when I return to the states. She wants a flashy case, it seems.

-OS: Windows XP Home - $94.95

why infect a brand new pc with this virus ?

try suse 10.0

I'm not a Linux fan, we'll leave it at that.

Two nice systems, I would only opt for one optical drive in each box, a DVD writer/reader (they can read write anything) and put the extra cash into a larger hard drive or slightly better PSU's.

We both want two seperate optical drives for CD and DVD media, as our heavy use of them tends to wear them out. It's affordable for me to do so. As for HDDs, both of our current PCs have 80GB, and neither of us is using more than 20. 160 is more than fine.

oh, if those are Athlon X2 3800+'s youll need Win XP Pro.

oh and i just noticed that they are X2's, so you WILL need XP Pro. xp home edition doesnt support multiple processors.

You'll be needing XP Pro with that. Sucks, for me and you, because im getting the X2 3800+

A few of you suggested this. I'm sorry, but you are incorrect. XP Pro supports dual-sockets, 8-cores per socket. XP Home supports one socket, up to 8-cores.

Home and Pro both make use of a dual-core CPUs. The only difference is, Pro lets you set affinity within the OS, while Home requires that you download a utility to let you do so. In other words, Pro lets you manage how both cores are used, while Home lets the software manage it by default.

Gorion
12-13-05, 12:52 AM
I run xp home just fine with my 4400+.

Medion
12-13-05, 11:25 AM
Made some changes today.

-Swapped motherboards with something less expensive, and better suited to both of our needs. That knocked off roughly $64 from our total budget.

-Filled in the holes on Joanna's PC. Added cheapo speakers and a cheapo mouse since they're going to her mother. For the sake of filling in the blanks, I gave her the same keyboard as me, and a reliable case.

Even without pricedrops, it seems we'll be well within the original target budget. However, if prices drop enough, I will consider adding these:

His:
-Samsung 940b 19" LCD - +$84.00 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16824001066)

Hers:
-Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 Value - +$45.50 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16829102179)

Knot3D
12-13-05, 04:21 PM
His/hers :
-CPU: as listed is OK
-Motherboard: your new alternative is OK
-RAM:as listed is OK
-Video Card: as listed is OK
-Sound Card: SB Audigy is a good yet cheaper middle road solution
-Hard-Drive: as listed is OK

-Case: the Antec Sonata II is flashy yet classy with the piano black finish and the blue front bezel leds AND it ships with a Smartpower 2.0 450W PSU all for about $ 97 I have the Sonata 1 myself ; great pc case ! http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,1825489,00.asp
-PSU: included with Antec Sonata 2

-Monitor: your new alternative is OK
-Optical Drive NEC 3550A does it all http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1649374&sku=n27-1888&CMP=ILC-FOT01
-OS: WinXP Pro
-Speakers: ? Some good headphones might be a good alternative. No arguments about volume levels in house.
-Keyboards are often skimped on. I recommed the Saitek gaming Keyboard ; very very sturdy and it has a great key layout. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16823175101&ATT=23-175-101&CMP=OTC-C173T

mullet
12-13-05, 06:53 PM
Ok my 2 cents, GET each pc a 7800GTX then build the pc around it, why you ask couse thats whats gonna give you the most enjoyment. A 3700+ or a dualcore isnt gonna help your FPS like a 7800GTX will. I have built to many systems and its ALL ABOUT the Video card.

*updated*
1 Antec PERFORMANCE TX TX1050B Black Steel Server Computer Case 500W ATX12V v2.0 Power Supply - Retail
Model #: TX1050B
Item #: N82E16811129158
$124.99

1 Western Digital Caviar SE WD2000JD 200GB 7200 RPM Serial ATA150 Hard Drive - OEM
Model #: WD2000JD
Item #: N82E16822144153
$92.00

1 SAMSUNG 740B Black 17" 8ms LCD Monitor - Retail
Model #: 740b-Black
Item #: N82E16824001070
$255.99

1 ASUS A8N-E Socket 939 NVIDIA nForce4 Ultra ATX AMD Motherboard - Retail
Model #: A8N-E
Item #: N82E16813131530
$109.99

1 MSI NX7800GTX-VT2D256E Geforce 7800GTX 256MB GDDR3 PCI Express x16 Video Card - Retail
Model #: NX7800GTX-VT2D256E
Item #: N82E16814127182
$449.00

1 Logitech Media Elite 967559-0403 Black USB + PS/2 Wired Standard Keyboard - Retail
Model #: 967559-0403
Item #: N82E16823126178
-$7.00 Instant $17.98

1 Logitech G5 Laser 931376-0403 2-Tone 6 Buttons 1x Wheel USB Laser Mouse - Retail
Model #: 931376-0403
Item #: N82E16826104191
$53.65

1 CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1GB) 184-Pin DDR SDRAM DDR 400 (PC 3200) Unbuffered System Memory Model
VS2GBKIT400C3 - Retail
Model #: VS2GBKIT400C3
$180.00

1 AMD Athlon 64 3700+ San Diego 1GHz FSB Socket 939 Processor Model ADA3700BNBOX - Retail
Model #: ADA3700BNBOX
Item #: N82E16819103539
$235.00

1 NEC Black IDE/ATAPI DVD Burner Model ND-3550A - OEM
Model #: ND-3550A BK OEM
Item #: N82E16827152058
-$15.00 Combo $39.98
RiDATA DVD+RW 4.7GB DVD+R DL 8.5GB DVD+R DL 2.4X DVD+RW 4X Mixed Pack 5+1 pk Disc - Retail
Model #: DRD+855/DRW+471
Item #: N82E16817132376 FREE


Subtotal: $1,558.58

as far as the OS goes *cough* u know what 2 do.

ViN86
12-13-05, 07:39 PM
I run xp home just fine with my 4400+.
:wtf:

hit ctl+alt+del and look under performance, does it have two graphs, one for each core? if so, please post screenshots of it and a screenshot of the properties when you right click on My Computer.

sorry, im very skeptical

btw, ive used ubuntu as well. i used the live cd, nice little package ;)

Medion
12-13-05, 11:55 PM
Ok my 2 cents

Keep your two cents. Nope, I'm not pirating Windows. Nope, a GTX isn't worth it to me. Nope, not going single-core. You also only included one optical drive, while forgetting about speakers and a sound card.

hit ctl+alt+del and look under performance, does it have two graphs, one for each core? if so, please post screenshots of it and a screenshot of the properties when you right click on My Computer.

sorry, im very skeptical


By default, Windows XP Home treats a dual-core as one CPU. You'll still see the same benefits with video encoding, multi-tasking, and other apps that benefit from dual-cores, as you would on XP Pro. You just don't get the ability (within the OS) to set the affinity.

It's ok if you want to be skeptical, but it will work for me, and I've seen it work.

ViN86
12-14-05, 12:01 AM
Keep your two cents. Nope, I'm not pirating Windows. Nope, a GTX isn't worth it to me. Nope, not going single-core. You also only included one optical drive, while forgetting about speakers and a sound card.



By default, Windows XP Home treats a dual-core as one CPU. You'll still see the same benefits with video encoding, multi-tasking, and other apps that benefit from dual-cores, as you would on XP Pro. You just don't get the ability (within the OS) to set the affinity.

It's ok if you want to be skeptical, but it will work for me, and I've seen it work.
how do you see benefits if it treats it as one CPU? windows wouldnt know what to do with multithreaded programs, as it wouldnt see two processors.

seeker010
12-14-05, 12:25 AM
:wtf:

hit ctl+alt+del and look under performance, does it have two graphs, one for each core? if so, please post screenshots of it and a screenshot of the properties when you right click on My Computer.

sorry, im very skeptical

btw, ive used ubuntu as well. i used the live cd, nice little package ;)
XP Home has no problems with dual core or HT processors.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;810231
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Weblets/0,,7832_8366_7595~95364,00.html

BrianG
12-14-05, 07:29 AM
how do you see benefits if it treats it as one CPU? windows wouldnt know what to do with multithreaded programs, as it wouldnt see two processors.
It sees two. Chill. (mikec)

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/6606/dualcorehome2pp.jpg

Ripping a CD and running a Virus scan...

Medion
12-14-05, 08:44 AM
It sees two. Chill

Thank you :)